Property marketing has traditionally been seen as something which has been done offline – signs in shop windows and billboards on the street. The sales were done person to person, with people needing to experience the property in question first hand before they’d even considering making a purchase. With today’s faster pace of life, it’s essential that the property market is easily accessible across a range of media providing a great experience in the virtual world. No matter what channels you are using, it is vital to use rich content to compel customers and give them a strong idea of the property to help to eventually entice them into a viewing and ultimately, making a purchase.
The rise of the online estate agent
Recent years have seen the rise of online selling websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. These have been seen as disruptive to the sector, essentially replacing traditional estate agents and allowing sellers to facilitate their move without the fees and hassle of the middle man. They have also become the first port of call for buyers who can easily search by area and gain a broad overview of what’s on the market. While some may see this as competition, they have also proven to be a useful tool for the existing industry, with old fashioned agencies setting up an affiliation with one of these major property sites to bring in more prospective buyers.
Rethink the shop window
Walk down any high street and any estate agent will have the traditional shop window with pictures accompanied by text mounted on a cardboard stand. The shop window is still a powerful marketing tool but you have to cater to customers who don’t have time to go beyond window shopping. It’s time to start thinking digitally. It’s entirely possible to mount screens or tablets, each showing a different property and their various features in video form making them far more attractive to prospective buyers. It’s also possible to incorporate QR codes to give viewers a quick and easily accessible route to find out more about the property which has piqued their interest.
Get the basics right
Property is a crowded marketplace and it’s vital to keep pace with your competitors online. This means ensuring that your website is up to scratch, both technically and in terms of usability. The website should be fully optimised for both desktop and mobile to create the best user experience which in turn will help you to outrank your competitors. It’s also important to make sure that your page is optimised for the right keywords but ultimately if you have compelling content and a consistent brand voice you should attain good engagement levels.
Build your digital presence
People have busy lives and can’t necessarily afford to take much time out of their day to visit estate agents. The digital space should not just be a holding page with opening hours and an address, but rather emulate, and build upon, the experience the customer should receive in person. Strong imagery is a start but this should be supplemented with videos of virtual walk-throughs, good descriptions and within a design which showcases your best properties in the most appealing ways along with strong calls to action. To give people as many chances as possible to see properties, social media should be utilised where possible.
Take advantage of the latest technology
Property is a visual medium and that ties in nicely with the latest trends in digital marketing and social media. Consider hiring a 360° camera to give prospective buyers a unique view of a property. If there’s a big investment required in a property which hasn’t been constructed yet, the latest visual effects technology can be deployed to create a virtual render of the office, be it an office space or luxury apartment. You could also give a property a virtual makeover should customers have trouble using their imagination to see the home of their dreams. The beauty of digital means that these assets can be viewed from anywhere in the world which helps expand your potential reach.
No matter what technology you decide to deploy, remember it’s ultimately all about building a strong relationship with customers and showcasing a great product.